How to Become a Locksmith in Virginia

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How to Become a Locksmith in Virginia

Locksmiths are always in high demand simply because of the need to maintain security for homes and businesses.

Anyone who has ever locked themselves out of their car or had the need to get a new key made for their home has had to call a locksmith.

Becoming a locksmith can be exciting, especially as you work with the latest technologies of locks and entry access systems.

There are countless job opportunities and becoming a locksmith in Virginia can be rewarding.

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Steps to Become a Locksmith in Virginia

Becoming a locksmith in Virginia requires very little to get started, which is why it can be such an easy career to get started in.

First, you will need to obtain entry-level training, which is the 25E Locksmith course.

Every locksmith will need to take this course.

From there, you can actually work up to 90 days in the state while you complete all of your compulsory minimum training.

The in-service training requirement is a four-hour 25I locksmith in-service requirement.

As long as you have already submitted your fingerprints to the Department of Criminal Justice Services, you can work while you get these service hours.

Once you have completed the training and the in-service time, you can work to get registered with the state.

All you have to do is make sure you have the 90-day authorization document along with your photo ID while you are on the job.

Once you are fully registered, you will, then, have a registration card to keep with you at all times.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Locksmith in Virginia

There are quite a few licensing requirements in order to become a locksmith in Virginia.

The process can vary based on whether training exemptions are being requested for certain training courses, such as if a person has in-service training or prior firearms training.

It starts with registering with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, which can be done online.

A registration card will be given once all of the necessary steps and applications have been completed.

Anyone who has been convicted or found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony will need to submit a Criminal History Supplemental Form.

All training requirements will need to be met, which includes 18 hours of 25E – Locksmith Entry-Level courses.

When all eligibility requirements are completed, the application is available online and fees can be paid.

Locksmith Programs

Becoming a locksmith does not require a college degree.

Instead, there are various academies and organizations that offer the training to prepare a person for the career.

The training only takes 18 hours.

It is identified as an “SC25 Locksmith” course.

In some instances, a locksmith course can be taken alongside other courses such as personal protection services, firearms, bail bondsman, and more.

For the purposes of becoming a locksmith in Virginia, you only need to worry about the locksmith course.

AAA Online Training Academy is one school located in King George, VA that will offer the courses.

Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate.

Online and in-person programs are offered, and all are DCJS approved courses.

School of Lock and Electronic Security, LLC offers a certificate program in Mechanicsville, VA.

The program goes above and beyond the basics of locksmithing to focus on electronic security, including providing you with training to be an electronic security technician.

Fedlock School in Arlington, VA also provides a certificate.

This school is dedicated solely to locksmithing, ensuring that you have a comprehensive education regarding locks and keys.

The cost to attend the various schools will vary, though most programs are between $250 and $300.

Many locksmiths will take several courses above and beyond the 25E that are required for licensing.

This includes Mag Lock and Electric Strike Installation, 35E Electronic Security Technician, and more.

As such, many locksmiths should expect to spend between $1000 and $1500 to get fully educated as a locksmith.


Depending on whether a locksmith works for a company or individually, they can be paid a salary, an hourly wage, or even based on a “per job” fee.

The median salary for locksmiths across the country is $54,145.

In the state of Virginia, locksmiths can earn slightly higher than the median salary, with those in the 90th percentile earning $67,171.

The more populated cities of Virginia will offer higher salaries as well as more job opportunities.

This includes such places as Richmond, Norfolk, and Arlington.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Virginia Beach $51,762
Norfolk $50,983
Chesapeake $50,918
Richmond $54,026
Newport News $50,723
Hampton $50,723
Alexandria $60,274
Portsmouth $50,983
Roanoke $50,057
Lynchburg $49,872

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Richmond, VA120$48,430$23.28$65,970$29,610
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC100$45,900$22.07$62,380$29,610
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Locksmiths and Safe Repairers, OCC Code 49-9094, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old does one have to be to be a locksmith in Virginia?

The state requires that people be at least 18 years of age.

What are the renewal requirements for a locksmith license in Virginia?

In order to renew a locksmith registration with the state, there is an in-service training of four hours.

Additionally, there will be the need to renew online and pay the registration fee of $34.

What kind of registration is required for locksmiths in Virginia?

Locksmiths will need to register with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

This includes not only meeting training requirements but also registering online.

Individuals will also need to schedule an appointment for fingerprints to be taken.

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